Disabled Veteran Kicked Off Boardwalk Because of Service Dog

By Matt Alba
|  Sunday, Aug 11, 2013  |  Updated 8:50 AM PDT
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Veteran Kicked Off Boardwalk Because of Service Dog

NBC40.net

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A disabled U.S. Army veteran, who served our country for 19 years, says he was kicked off the North Wildwood, New Jersey, boardwalk Thursday night, simply for having his service dog by his side.

Jared Goering served 1 tour in Iraq, 2 in Afghanistan, and spent 19 years as an active member of the Army. Jared said, "I served from 1993 to 2012." He then told NBC40 he couldn't sleep Thursday night because he felt so disrespected by a North Wildwood police officer.

Goering said, "Just like any veteran with disabilities with a service dog, to come back and be harassed and shown no respect, it upset me - it really bothered me. I was up most of the night thinking about it."

A North Wildwood police officer issued Jared and his wife a summons because he had a dog on the boardwalk.

“I expected to get more respect from him because of the jobs that we both have to do,” Goering said.

"He mockingly asked if all veterans get service dogs," said Jared’s wife, Sally Goering, “his dog is medically necessary and he is a service dog."

In 2009, Jared was serving in Afghanistan when his vehicle was blown up by IEDs, twice, within 36 hours. Now, Jared uses his 3-year-old service dog, Gator, short for Navigator, to help him walk, and to get up and down stairs.

Jared explained, "I also suffer from PTSD, severe anxiety, depression - and my dog plays a big part in my life. His main purpose is mobility but he also helps me with all my emotional problems from combat."

Jared and his wife Sally say the incident occurred on the 26th street North Wildwood boardwalk. The Goering family said, even after showing the officer the dog's service identification card, he still issued them a summons and kicked them off the boardwalk.

Sally said, "We want the public to be aware that there are different types of disabilities and

Northwood Wildwood Police say Goering notified a shift Sergeant shortly after he received the summons from the officer. The shift Sergeant then took the summons and filed for a dismissal. The incident is being investigated by the Internal Affairs supervisor, according to police.

"The City of North Wildwood and the North Wildwood Police Department have always proudly supported military veterans and continue to support all branches of the military. The Police Department is comprised of some military veterans and parents of active military who are presently serving in the armed forces. This police department looks forward to and participates in all the military special events throughout the year. The North Wildwood Police Department has always respected and appreciated the sacrifices of all those who serve our great nation," according to a statement released Saturday.

The mayor of North Wildwood says they will issue a formal apology, if appropriate, pending the outcome of the investigation.

Original story here: http://bit.ly/13qVnP6

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